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  • Writer's pictureDawn Dalton

My First Role Playing Game

With all of the hoopla going on in the gaming industry at the moment (with the Open Game License and the industry's response), it made me think about my introduction to role playing games.

My first game was Vampire the Masquerade. Ironically, I just finished playing another campaign of Vampire. And the differences I see in just my character building show how far I've come in gaming.

When I started, my GM told me gaming was "live interactive radio theater" and that has always stuck with me. The dice and rules are just there to settle disputes so you don't get into arguments about who shot first. And for me, telling a good story trumps rules. Even if it means my character has to die.

My first character was a Brujah with zero fighting skill and basically no background story to speak of. We played it off as her being in the wrong place at the wrong time and got her a mentor. It made for some fun storytelling where I was never sure my character would survive the night.

And while I'm attached to my characters, if they have to die to further the story (or I did something incredibly stupid), I let them go. No temper tantrums, no trying to retcon the scene so I could stay out of danger. The dice fall where they may and sometimes I let characters die even if I have a trump card to save them because it makes the most sense for the story and group.

My latest character is a Toreador with a fully fleshed out backstory and ties to the other players before we even sat down for our first session. Part of that is I actually learned to read the rules before I make my character, or at least look at what the clan is known for instead of just looking at what cool Disciplines they have.

I will always be grateful to all of my GMs (especially Rob for the introduction to gaming and my college group) for everything they taught me and for the different styles of games they ran. For letting me make really stupid characters and even stupider choices in game while providing an environment that fostered fun.

While we're waiting for the dust to settle on OGL and the new ORC, let me know what was your first game and your favorite character!

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